I am currently writing this post from the back of the ship on deck 8 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Even though we have only been on the ship for a little over two days, the MV World Odyssey already feels like home. The first night was amazing. There was an indescribable vibe all throughout the ship. Everyone had so much energy and happiness that it was hard not to smile. Tons to learn and dozens of people to meet. I’m pretty sure I met at least 30 people within the first 24 hours. Once the sun began to set, everyone headed up to deck 9 to watch as we began to sail away from everything and everyone we knew. In a sense, leaving the port was symbolic of the journey ahead of all of us. There we were. About 600 of us. Complete strangers. So optimistic yet so scared. Each and every one of us were leaving behind those special people and all things familiar, but we were all completely okay with that because we knew that we were all exactly where we needed to be, eager and ready to start the voyage.
Surprisingly, I adjusted really well to living on a ship. One of the only things I was really worried about was being sea sick all of the time. I am pretty sure I purchased every kind of sea sickness medication and ginger candy on the market (better safe than sorry right??). Not gonna lie, there were a few times where I began to feel a little queasy but I would take a sea sickness pill and began to feel okay. Every day it gets easier and I get a little less queasy when there is a big wave, but hopefully a few days from now, my body will be fully adjusted to living on a boat.
There is no sense of time really on the ship. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you what day of the week it is because the schedule on the ship does not have your typical Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc on it. It is just either an A or B day until you reach your port. With this being said, there are no weekends either. We have class every day while we are at sea and then no classes at all once we get off the ship. So basically we could be in class for 12 days but then have a 6 day break. The only time we would ever have “class” while in port would be if we have a field lab for class, but those just take up one day in a specific port depending on the class you’re in. One worry of mine is meeting up with friends if you have a field lab but I feel like after the first port, everyone will figure out how everything works.
The food. If you know me, this is definitely something I was worried about, but surprisingly, it isn’t that bad. BUT I have a feeling that in about five days (or less) from now, I will be tired of the constant rice and grilled veggies.
Even though none of us have cell phone or internet to occupy us in our free time, it seems as if nobody really cares. I guess when you’re phone-less or without internet back home, you are clueless as to what to do, but here, everyone was looking forward to time away from their electronics. Hanging out with people is completely different. You aren’t just sitting around on your phones and making comments about things you’re looking at on social media. You are having true and genuine conversations with people and actually paying attention. It has made me realize how attached everyone (including me) is to their phones and social media. In the real world, you’ll meet someone and be like “oh yeah I have seen her on Facebook” or “oh yeah I’ve stalked her Instagram before”. But here, you are meeting people with no preconceived judgments or expectations. You actually get to form honest opinions about the people you meet regardless or the amount of followers they have or how awesome their lives seem to be on social media. Experiencing all of this has really made me think about the relationships with people I have back home and realize how real they may or may not be. In this situation, the only form of entertainment is through actual conversation and basically making your own fun. For instance, a few nights ago, a bunch of us were bored so got a squad of people to go to the union room and played Pictionary for about two hours. Pretty soon, it seemed as if half of the ship was participating.
With that being said, life at sea isn’t just about being sick all of the time and nauseous, but it is actually about forming real relationships and creating your own fun and entertainment. I definitely miss my family and friends back home, but I am incredibly blessed and grateful for getting the opportunity to do something like this.
Below are some snippets of my daily journal entries that include things I miss, things I’m grateful for, and the memory of the day. Hope you enjoy and apologies for the messy post….trying to update before I lose service again
–Things I miss: BATHS
–Things I’m grateful for: Mae Mae, GINGER!!!!!, and sea sickness meds
–Memory of the day: Sitting in the Berlin dining room and just hanging out with new friends for the night
–Things I miss: still baths & driving to get food
–Things I’m grateful for: liking my classes, new friends, happy spirit on the ship
–Memory of the day: coloring mandalas on deck 9 with friends until 11:30 (tbh this is late on the ship), laughing a lot
–Things I miss: DARK CHOCOLATE, Stone Creek, and Orange Theory
–Things I am grateful for: not getting sea sick, my marketing teacher’s calming English accent, calm seas, SUNNY WEATHER
–Memory of the day: celebrating Rachel’s birthday / dinner and pub night
–Things I miss: family, my pillows
–Things I am grateful for: emails I’ve received, having a lot of energy this morning, being in Hawaii tomorrow, the gym not being crowded,
–Memory of the day: just having a really good day